tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC August 23, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT
him because what he did last night did not advance the cause of tax reform. >> mark halperin, victoria, thank you very much. ari, katy, nick, thank you as well. that does it for us this morning on "morning joe." stephanie ruhle picks up our coverage right now. >> thank you, my friend, willie geist. i'm stephanie ruhle excited to be back this morning because there is a lot to dig through, starting with president trump hitting the campaign trail in arizona and attacks critics and the media over charlottesville. >> i said everything. i hit them with neo-nazi, i hit them with everything. >> i hit them with neo-nazis. let that sink in. exclusive, the first excerpts from hillary clinton's new book. she tells us what she was thinking while trump stood behind her at that second debate. >> or do you turn, look him in the eye and say loudly and clearly, "back up you creep. get away from me." >> back it up. and it is president trump versus republicans, specifically the
most powerful republican in washington, mitch mcconnell, and an arizona senator, jeff flake, as the president threatens a shutdown over his pet project. you know what i'm talking about. >> for our friends in the senate, oh, boy. we have to close down our government, we're building that wall. >> i could have sworn mexico was going to pay for that wall. we're going to begin with president trump unscripted the way he loves it best, lashing out at a campaign rally late last night in phoenix, speaking for over 70 minutes defending his charlottesville comments yet again while ram paging against the media, the democrats and even members of his own party. i want you to stay here because we have the best team of reporters and analysts to break all of it down. i want to go down to listen specifically to what the president had to say. >> they don't report the facts. just like they don't want to report that i spoke out
forcefully against hatred, bigotry and violence, and strongly condemned the neo-nazis, the white supremacists and the kkk. the failing "new york times" which is like so bad. now, the obstructionist democrats would like it not to do it, but believe me, if we have to close down our government, we're building that wall. nobody wants me to talk about your other senator, who's weak on borders, weak on crime, so i won't talk about him. from george washington, please don't take his statue down, please. they're trying to take away our culture. they're trying to take away our history. >> president trump, we are not equating robert e. lee with george washington, two very, very different men. meanwhile, outside, scores of frustrated protesters gathered to voice their opposition to the president, resulting in at least four arrests. i want to take you live to phoenix where nbc's kristen welker is standing by. kristen, we have got to break down last night. in my mind, i'm thinking what
was general kelly thinking? dina powell, gary cohn. those who have been high fiving each other. now that steve bannon is out, we'll get a more moderate, controlled president. that's not what we got. we got defiant, unapologetic. i was saying this is trump unleashed. what was your takeaways. >> reporter: he was unleashed, unplugged, pick your word to describe it, steph, there's no doubt about it. if john kelly came in to get president trump on message, last night was a sign that the president is going to go off script when he wants to. this is a complete 180 from the night before when he unveiled his strategy in afghanistan, when he was on message, when he was on script, when he called for unity for the nation. total 180 from that. the president lashing out at just about everyone, including his favorite target, the media, accusing the media of misrepresenting his initial comments in the wake of charlottesville. of course the president was widely criticized for his response to charlottesville. a lot of folks felt as though he was trying to draw comparisons
between white supremacists and the counterprotesters. president trump, though, last night saying that wasn't his original message. take a listen to a little bit more of what he had to say. >> i said everything. i hit them with neo-nazi, i hit them with everything. i got the white supremacist, the neo-nazi, i got them all in there. let's see. kkk, we have kkk. i got them all. so they're having a hard time. so what did they say, right? it should have been sooner, he's a racist. >> reporter: now, the president left out the fact that also during his initial remarks he said there was blame to go around on all sides. bottom line though, steph, this was president trump in his element, a campaign-style rally right here in arizona, one of the states that really helped launch his campaign. so he threw out plenty of red meat for the base throughout the night. they ate it up. he talked about the border wall, threatened to shut down the government over the border wall
and in a somewhat surprise announcement, he hinted that he will likely pardon the controversial sheriff, joe arpaio, despite the fact that his own press secretary just hours earlier had said he wasn't going to touch the subject. he even talked about nafta, indicating that the big trade deal could ultimately become a thing of the past. so, steph, there was a little something for all of his base in this. of course as you pointed out, he also took direct aim at the state's two republican senators. that is something that could create an even larger rift with members of his own party and create big challenges for him in the fall when he gets to get his legislative agenda passed. >> his son, eric trump, retweeting support for jeff flake's opponent. i want to bring in stephanie gosk for more on the protest. stephanie, the president was saying there weren't that many people out there, they were misleading you, but there was a couple thousand people, weren't there? >> reporter: yeah, and probably even more than that, steph. at one point the streets here, this street here, the sidewalk, went down a couple of blocks, it
was filled with people. our very rough and unscientific guess was probably 4,000 or 5,000. really it was almost entirely peaceful. there were some moments as trump supporters were filing in to the convention center that they yelled back and forth to each other but the goal of police and law enforcement on the ground yesterday was to keep the protesters and trump supporters separated and they did by using this street and blocking it off. but then when president trump finished his speech and people started piling out, that's when the tension started and that's when the trouble started. according to police here, what happened is that a small group of protesters started hurling objects at them, including, they said, some kind of gas. and then they immediately responded with tear gas, small concussion instruments and people started to run. we were caught up in that a little bit. you could see people with water and tears and trying to mask from the gas that was filling
the streets. and all of this comes after, as you know, the mayor of the city, greg stanton, multiple times pub likely asking the president not to come. in a very hard-hitting op-ed in "the washington post" had said that the president was fueling the fire of racial tensions in this country following the scenes that we saw in charlottesville, virginia. regardless of him asking the president not to come, he clearly did. but this morning relief in phoenix that the scenes in charlottesville didn't replicate themselves here. >> those images are extraordinary. i don't care what side you're on, tensions are so high. when i look at the images and remember that we're in open carry states, it makes me nervous. i want to bring my panel in. jason johnson, an msnbc political contributor and politics editor at the root.com and my friend, kate kelly who covers wall street for "the new york times." jason, president trump blaming the media for the nation's divisions last night, going harder after the media than he
does -- he says i got the ku klux klan but going harder after the media than the klan or radical sclaislamists. he loves to say we twist everything. we don't need to, these are his words. >> it's time to expose the crooked media deceptions and to challenge the media for their role in formenting divisions. and yes, by the way -- and yes, by the way, they are trying to take away our history and our heritage, you see that. >> wink wink, nod nod. you know who loves that? richard spencer, our heritage. what's your take on all of this? one could say his ratings are in the tank but his base, they're loving him some trump. >> his base loves trump. he gave them plenty of things to be excited about. he went and attacked the media. i think it's fascinated, the president of the united states has said we're going to enter a forever war with afghanistan.
we've had sailors just die in a second crash within two months. >> he made no mention of them. >> that's too bad was his original reaction. >> that's all he's concerned about. so he wants to sit there and scream about the media. but what this speaks to is also his absolute inability to understand the feelings of this country. remember, the local gop in phoenix, several people sent this to me, they put out a craigslist ad advertising for minorities to stand behind trump during the rally. they were offering them $10 an hour to stand and be a part of it. and then we have michael, the black man. he is part of blacks for trump. i met him last year actually during the st. louis debate. he believes that barack obama was the anti-christ, that hillary clinton was part of the ku klux klan and the trump campaign has been happy to have a man who is part of a murderous cult who was accused of stabbing and beheading people in the early '90s stand behind the president of the united states. that's what he means by i'm healing divisions. >> kate, let's talk about who's standing next to president trump. he threatened to shut down the government over funding the
wall, the wall that was supposed to be paid for by mexico. he talked about ripping up nafta. while he spent 20 minutes going after the media, recounting charlottesville, he barely talked about tax reform. so of those globalists who have won recently, steve bannon is there. you've got mnuchin there, dena, jared, ivanka, where are they in this? >> the people that i talk to and i focus on tax policy in my reporting because it's an area where business is very interested and as you know the business roundtable and others have been funding commercials, some of them on this air, to talk about the need to change the tax code. there's an increasing consensus it's not going to happen this calendar year. maybe they can do some of the spade work and set themselves up for 2018, but it's going to be extremely hard, especially given the divisions between the president and republican leaders to get this done. they don't have a draft of a bill yet, they have turned it over to the committees. that's going to start in earnest after labor day. in terms of the moderates, it's
very interesting. with steve bannon gone, himself a former goldman person, although briefly, it's more the goldman sachs presidency than ever because of the presence of these moderates. >> show me where. i heard that argument all weekend long. listen, they're there behind the scenes, the great work they're doing. show me where that great work was last night. >> at the moment those people are on the sidelines, right? but as we were talking about, trump is -- changes his mind frequently. when he goes to one of these rallies, he's trying to razz up certain less globalist-minded interests and go back to some of his campaign promises that he found to be incredibly effective. now, today for all we know he's huddling with people like this talking with tax policy, talking about other more moderate plans, the nafta issue may just be rhetoric. it's hard to know. >> here's the problem. if the president -- if he was like an improv comic or doing rap freestyle it's fine to go and have a big rally and say whatever he wants, but there's
policy supposed to be passed. so when he gets an audience, a global audience to watch him, he doesn't spend time on policy. >> maybe that's not what he cares about. has he ever been someone who cares about policy or was the campaign and his reign based on breaking down the system and fighting and power because right now what he did last night is exactly what he wants to do. >> i think it was that to the extent that there was sort of a coherent ideology there, it was probably more bannon's than anybody else's. >> i don't think he ever had one. i think it's a personality cult and that's all he wants. >> i want to go back to kristen welker, an exclusive on what president trump's former rival, hillary clinton, has to say. this is pretty revealing. "morning joe" air eed a piece o hillary clinton's new book coming out in september. what can you tell us? >> reporter: this is a highly anticipated memoir, steph. as you point out, "morning joe" got the exclusive first excerpts. this is hillary clinton really explaining from her own point of view what happened. that's the title of her memoir. this is not going to be an
analysis of the 2016 race, this is going to be a first-person account. and in one of the most notable excerpts from the book, secretary clinton talks about what it was like for her during that second debate when then candidate trump followed her around on the debate stage. take a listen. >> and i'm going to fix it because i agree with you. premiums have gotten too high, co-pace, deductibles, the highest priority of the next president. >> where the world heard him brag about groping women, now we were on a small stage and no matter where i walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces. it was incredibly uncomfortable. he was literally breathing down my neck. my skin crawled. it was one of those moments where you wish -- >> reporter: steph, clinton also talks about the shock that she felt when she lost. of course as we all remember,
most of the polls showed that she was going to win the race. and she talks about the fact that she feels as though she let down her millions of followers and those who voted for her, steph. so it's a pretty first-person personal account of what happened. >> i've got to get my panel to respond. you know, it was funny last night we didn't hear much about hillary clinton. i was going great, i'm tired of relitigating that and in an excerpt this morning. but when i heard it, it took you back to that second debate with him looming behind her. i don't know, i think i would have turned around and said why don't you back up. >> it was incredibly offputting to watch at the time. i agree, it brought me back to that moment too. it's actually very interesting, her sort of reflection on that situation because i do think many of us have been in situations where people are sort of flexing their power, subtly or not subtly, making us feel uncomfortable and we feel like the best thing to do is to go along. so i think that will be a very resonant point for people. do you? >> not necessarily. i wish this was like mitt. do you remember when the mitt
documentary came out? you know, he's not such a bad guy. this sounds like the same overly cautious, overly thinking hillary clinton we saw. say move, get out the way. what's this, i wanted to call him a creep. >> that's what's stunning, her overly rehearsed and trained and practiced hillary clinton is what hurt her so much. >> exactly. >> look, you had trump unplugged last night. people love trump being trump. if she would have turned off and said, hey predator, can you back it up? >> her whole m.o. was let me focus on the ideology, the policy, my preparedness for office. this is the contrast for me and this thug in her words probably. also, in terms of the campaign history, if you read "shattered" which probably a lot of your audience has, side by side with what it sounds like is in this hillary clinton book it will be interesting because that was all about the broken campaign apparatus and the infighting and the silos and the wrong-headed strategy. >> at the end of the day, obviously she got more votes than he did so she should have won the election.
>> but she lost the election. >> at the end of the day you had to show passion. that's what she missed, that's what al gore missed. you can't win an election if people don't think you're fighting for them. if you have a passive way of responding to a creep, they're not going to like you. >> wait a minute, you think mitt romney doesn't show passion? i'm joking, i'm joking! we're going to take a break. next, the u.s. navy expands its search for the "uss john mccain's" missing sailors. the commanding officer now relieved of his duty. plus, why is the pentagon, pay attention to this one, not acknowledging the actual number of troops already in afghanistan? let me tell you, if i was the mother of a son or daughter in afghanistan, i'd sure as hell want my child acknowledged. before i go, we spoke about the protest outside president trump's speech in arizona. i want you to watch this. something about the protesters' chants caught the eye of conan o'brien. i like this. >> yeah, a lot of protesters there. it got awkward when it turned
welcome back. you're watching msnbc. i'm stephanie ruhle. we're talking about the new developments out of the pentagon this morning, just days after the "uss john mccain" collided with an oil tanker near singapore on monday. the u.s. navy has removed the commander of the seventh fleet, vice admiral joseph acon citing loss of confidence in his ability to demand. this week's collision marked the
fourth accident involving navy ships in the pacific this year alone. hans nichols is at the pentagon. hans, what's the latest on this investigation? >> the investigation is continuing, but the initial read is that the admiral in charge of the pacific fleet had lost confidence in admiral acoin. he was relieved of his command. he was expected to retire in a couple of weeks but the navy wants to send a message of accountability and that accidents like this are unacceptable. you mentioned the four. the last two have been deadly, over 17 -- potentially 17 sailors have lost their lives. we still don't know if there are any remains left of those ten on the "john mccain." the search technically is continuing. this is still in a search and rescue mode. they have not technically changed it over to recovery. yesterday they started pulling bodies, including the malaysian navy, as well as these divers that got underneath because that ship, as you can see from the pictures, took on a lot of water underneath the water line,
flooding several berthing compartments. >> all right. i want to ask you about another development we're following this morning, because this one gets me. u.s. defense officials are saying that there are up to 3600 more u.s. troops in afghanistan than the pentagon originally accounts for. why exactly is there a discrepancy? every person defending this country, especially overseas in a place like afghanistan, their work, their lives matter. what's up with these numbers? >> well, this is something we ask about nearly every day here at the pentagon, stephanie. basically it's exceedingly difficult to count all the troops that go in and out of the country. >> why? why is that so hard? >> well, sometimes people are in for a flight, they're there for support. the number that we had, right, the 8400 number for afghanistan, was the full time. that didn't count people that were staying there on a 90-day deployment, so you have some troops that are there on a 90-day deployment and others there for less. they didn't have to count those. finally we have a number and
that number is closer to 12,000. so there are a lot more troops there than have been publicly acknowledged. the 8400 number, it comes, and i don't want to get pentagon speaky here, but something called a force management level. that is technically the number they're authorized by congress to have there. they have these troops going in and out. now, we're going to have more troops going to afghanistan, which could put the total number at 16,000. but, stephanie, just to give you a sense of how difficult this is, we've asked secretary mattis straight up, just tell us how many troops do you have in country in afghanistan? he'll say, frankly, i don't know. it's that difficult to keep a counti count of everyone that's going in and out. we're getting closer with these new anybonumbers. >> extraordinary. hans not wanting to get to pentagon speaky. hans, i'm sorry to report, you just did. great to see you this morning. i really love when hans nichols is on. up next, money, power, politics, my favorite part of the show. last night president trump
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welcome back. you are watching msnbc. i'm stephanie ruhle. it is time now for your morning primer, everything you need to know to start your day. we begin with the top u.s. commander for the middle east saying more troops will arrive in afghanistan within a matter of days or weeks. this comes after president trump decided to boost the u.s. military effort in the region. and the justice department has dropped its request for information about more than 1 million visitors to an anti-trump website after being criticized for violating free speech protections. and several members of president trump's national infrastructure advisory council
have reportedly quit. a number of members who were appointed by former president obama reportedly resigned one day before the panel's quarterly business meeting. this one i actually thought was fake news when i first read it. espn pulling one of its announcers from an upcoming university of virginia football game because his name is robert lee. the network says it made the decision simply because of the coincidence of his name after the violent clashes in charlottesville over the removal of a confederate statue. and you have the rest of your day to get your hand on a power ticket. the grand prize has reached, this is crazy, crazy, $700 million. the second largest in u.s. history. i want to stay on money, a different kind. money, power, politics. president trump yet again touting big numbers on the economy and saying he will renegotiate nafta in his campaign-style speech that took place in phoenix last night. i want to bring in a man who was tweeting pure gold last night
during this speech, josh barrow, msnbc contributor, and kate kelly, wall street reporter for "the new york times." we're going to start, president trump again last night going after nafta, telling supporters the deal may be dead. take a listen. >> i told you from the first day we will renegotiate nafta or we will terminate nafta. i personally don't think you can make a deal without a termination, but we're going to see what happens. >> okay, president trump loved to say this on the campaign trail. this is an idea supported by peter navarro and wilbur ross. when he was doing this a few months ago, ag secretary purdue walked in and said president trump, let me show you an electoral college map. let me show you the farm counties that voted for you and how important things like mexico and canada are. what in the world is president trump talking about here? >> well, i think he's bluffing. barack obama also promised -- >> say that again. he thinks he's bluffing, our president. you just said that like no biggie, he's bluffing.
what? >> that's how the markets react to this. they don't move when he makes these nafta threats. it would be a negative effect for stocks. >> the peso is already falling in light of these comments. >> there are other things we can do with mexico. the peso fell immensely on his election. there are other things that we can do that would be negative economically for mexico without pulling out of the agreement. to your point about the farm states map, i think politically it becomes untenable for him to pull out of the agreement. i expect that he will get some sort of symbolic concessions out of canada and mexico so he can wave it around and say here's my win on nafta. but the odd thing is the canadians and mexicans are taking this negotiation a lot more seriously than we are, sending more senior officials to negotiations. it's become an actually substantive point in the political conversations in those countries about what the terms of the renegotiation should be. i think it's fairly clear that trump wants to be able to say that he fixed the problem that other people couldn't fix. >> here's a thought. i'm sure it's no accident that both nafta and the wall were key
portions of last night's speech. some of that was as we talked about earlier speaking to his base. at the same time, remember those unearthed transcripts from telephone calls with officials from mexico and australia. and with president pena nieto, trump was like you've got to pay for the wall and pena nieto was saying i can't go there, president trump, i think we should drop the subject, mr. trump. so he's bringing it up in the context of nafta, which he knows that the mexican government cares very much about to your point, perhaps as a leverage point. >> okay. but in terms of this is just rhetoric, he's not going to follow through with it, when does he have to? if his base stays with him forever and he doesn't drop below 30%, what about those moderate republicans who said i might find him morally reprehensible, i don't like him as a person, but i want tax reform to happen. the fact that he gave 90 seconds to tax reform and 20 minutes to
relitigating charlottesville while leaving out key portions of his speech, at what point do moderates say -- i mean in 2015, he said his tax reform plan was going to result in 6% gdp. that's going to happen right after never. >> right. well, i think the number of voters whose -- >> technically speaking, right after never. >> i think the number of voters whose top issue was tax reform is relatively small. i think there are a lot of donors to the republican party who care deeply about tax reform and a number of affluent voters who are counting on some big savings from that who would be very disappointed if that happened. one of the weird things about the trump presidency is it's been unclear exactly what the deliverables are supposed to be, but i think a lot of people voted for him fundamentally for cultural reasons. they felt like the country was slipping away from them, they were upset about political correctness and trump has delivered pushing back on that. so long as the economy continues to perform reasonably well, i don't think he'll have big problems with his base about failing to deliver specific
economic policies. if the economy turns on him, that will be very different and he'll start taking blame for that. >> i think those are good points. i think it's a notable omission because under his proposed tax reforms that we saw at the end of the april, the one-pager, he is talking about lowering taxes for small businesses and personal incomes, so those are things that should appeal to that sort of audience. it's not the worldest sexiest topic, though, right? >> not closing the loop on carried interest is sure going to help really wealthy people in the financial community too. but at some point is he held accountable? the president up there again proclaiming to be the greatest jobs producer. mike pence saying there's more people with jobs than ever. there's more people in the country. if you actually look at the jobs number created to what was last year, the numbers don't add up. >> job growth has been sort of at the same level for the last seven years now. >> so why are we saying it's the greatest ever? >> well, it's not -- well, he says everything is the greatest ever. but my point politically is that it's good enough.
the economy is perform well enough that i don't think the president is going to face a ton of scrutiny from his supporters. >> the unemployment number is good. even if you argue that that is an outgrowth of obama era policy, which many people would, as a headline matter, as a metric to point to, it's a metric. >> i have to share this sound bite about coal, quickly. >> we've ended the war on beautiful, clean coal. and it's just been announced that a second brand new coal mine where they're going to take out clean coal, meaning they're taking out coal, they're going to clean it, is opening in the state of pennsylvania. >> they're taking out coal and they're dropping it in my whirlpool dishwasher? what is he speaking of? >> the funny thing here is that the president hasn't done that much on this issue. there was an interesting story this week about the ceo of a coal mining company, murray energy, had been pushing the president to have the epa issue a rule that would basically allow power companies to keep
coal plants open that they would otherwise be closing for regulatory reasons. and he apparently told the ceo of this company, i want this done and then they just didn't do it. and it was because the lawyers and all the bureaucrats, they had good reasons about why not to do that. so the thing is that the president has promised to bring coal jobs back but coal is being killed by economic forces, cheap natural gas. it doesn't make a lot of sense to use coal to generate power. >> and this is for sure a symbolic point. we know that the coal jobs in the u.s. are in the tens of thousands, it's not a large number. this has everything to do with his experience on the campaign trail, the able he was able to resonate with the coal mining community, the murray energy ceo became a campaign advisor, and he's just harkening back to that. i think we saw a lot of that last night. it was vintage. >> it was vintage. i'm going to wipe that coal clean. all right, next, it is a fact that president trump spoke last night in arizona. we know that. but there was an awful lot of fiction that we're going to dig through. a politifact reporter here to help us. before we go, markets have just
opened. let's take a quick look and down slightly. remember, we are coming off an extraordinary run and the markets pay less and less attention to the rhetoric these days. electric light orchestra ] ♪ sailin' away on the crest of a wave, it's like magic ♪ ♪ rollin' and ridin' and slippin' and slidin' ♪ ♪ it's magic introducing the all new volkswagen tiguan. ♪ higher and higher, baby the new king of the concrete jungle.
were true or false? we're going to fact check his speech. joining me now, aaron schrockman, executive director of politifact. president trump provided a lengthy defense to his response to the violence in charlottesville but he admitted a key ad lib, the one that set the world in flames in his initial response. let's take a listen. >> really fast, here's what i said on saturday. we're closely following the terrible events unfolding in charlottesville, virginia. this is me speaking. we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. that's me speaking. >> aaron, what's the truth here? >> this is actually amazing. at politifact we say words matter and we credit the president for reading off a piece of paper. what he left out was what got him in trouble and anyone in that crowd would not know it. he talked about in his initial statement about violence being on many sides. he repeated it, many sides,
twice. so anyone watching that speech for the first time would have no clue what started this whole process in which trump had to repeat himself and change his story three times. so very deliberately misleading and quite frankly an unforced error considering he was just reading it off a piece of paper. >> an unforced error. what he didn't do is go after the alt-right. richard spencer, a leader of the alt-right, even tweeted that after. see, he's with us. remember, the alt-right that represents white nationalists, anti-immigrant groups. it's extraordinary. i want to share, though, what the president had to say specifically about defense spending. >> we've also obtained historic increase in defense spending. >> what did politifact find? because if the president were to shut down the government based on building the wall, i don't know, border patrol is in government spending. >> so this claim rates false on the truth-o-meter.
the president has proposed about a 9% increase in defense spending, raising over to $600 billion. but it's a proposal. it's not passed yet. in reality, since 1977, we found many instances, at least ten, where spending growth was much higher under ronald reagan in 1981 and 1982. we saw defense spending increases of more than 20%. so this is just not based in reality. it's something he said many times. it's one of his go-to lines, but it's also incorrect, it's false. >> i want to stay on border crossings for a moment and share what he said there. >> general kelly, who was in charge of homeland security, where people coming in down 78% and almost 80%. >> general kelly, who might be wishing today he was still running homeland security. what's the verdict on this? >> so donald trump here is using an old sound bite that's out of date and he needs to update his numbers. he's looking at the best
possible way from about november to april the border crossings were down about 78%. the reality is if you look at the most up-to-date data from july to july, it's down about 46%, so it's down and people say trump should get credit. but he's inflating the numbers for reasons we can't quite understand. >> we can't quite understand it but we know last night at that speech, his base certainly loved it. all right, thank you for breaking down the facts for us. we're going to take a break. next, "the new york times" detailing if you haven't read this, i'm begging you to, and watch this next segment. "new york times" digging into details about just how bad things have become between the president and majority leader mitch mcconnell, concluding with a profanity-laced shouting match. why does this matter? this is not just about palace intrigue. president trump not realizing the most powerful man in washington is mitch mcconnell. get between you and life's beautiful moments. switch to flonase allergy relief.
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i expect a lifetime guarantee. and so should you. on struts, brakes, shocks. does he turn everything to gold? not everything. at midas we're always a touch better. book an appointment at midas.com welcome back. you're watching msnbc. the vicious interparty feud between president trump and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is escalating to a whole other level this morning. this extraordinary report in "the new york times" says the two have not spoken to each
other in weeks, and then there's this quote. mr. mcconnell has privately expressed uncertainty that mr. trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises. i want to get my panel to weigh in. jason johnson, kate kelly, okie doke. mitch mcconnell's spokesperson denying the story but did say they have a lot of shared goals. tax reform, infrastructure, funding the government, not defaulting on debt, passing the defense authorization bill. okay, sure, that was a very easy response, but there's a lot of people who came forward for this story. bear in mind, mitch mcconnell's wife, elaine chao, had to stand next to president trump while he hijacked her infrastructure event last week. >> and her response in this story is i stand by both of my men. >> she was like wendy rhodes from "billions." i can't figure out which one of these guys i have to deal with. look, they have shared goals. >> okay, that like super creeped me out. you know what, no, no.
like the totally perverse, twisted undertones of that shout that you just put on this, way to go, jason. >> it makes sense for trump actually. >> great. >> here's the thing. >> seriously? now there's latex in my mind. t real split is like lebron and kyrie. these guys are still going to work together. they're still going to work on the debt ceiling and work on voter suppression. the senate is going to find a way to push through policies. >> i thought this was the most significant political development in the overnight news cycle. when i saw this story and you zeroed in what he is telling people privately. i have done business on the business community and i said to people like, how must this feel for elaine cho when president trump is going after her husband and par for the course. this means way more to the media than it does to elaine to mitch or to donald even. i don't know about that.
this is hitting mock five speed here. >> this is consuming them. >> look, he can't stand his boss. he can't stand the guy he is going to work with. the man offends him personally and at end the of the day, if they can get the job done. protect the fellow republicans in the senate. he has to protect flake and everything else like that. if those things can get done and accomplish policy, they can tolerate trump. >> you've got people at last night's rally saying we're done with john mccain. john mccain's got to go. you have a president who didn't even reference the sailors on "uss john mccain." isn't that the bigger question? >> we don't know any more. donald trump isn't a republican. his inner circle isn't full of republicans. >> he's a trumplican. >> they change depending on who the last person who walked out of his office is. trying to save what exists as a republican party right now. >> back to him for a second.
there was language in the story he's not sure trump can sort of survive his term. i'm paraphrasing. but there was a hint in there that he seems to think it may end early or at a minimum it will be a very effective administration. so, you think about the fact that tax policy is getting pushed off to the 12th of never, tax policy reform maybe. i mean, this is serious. >> failed administration for mitch mcconnell because this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for republicans to have this much control and actually get things done. president trump, was that ever his goal? he never got into policy. what he did get into was twitter. i want to share the president attacking arizona senator jeff flake. he tweeted, not a fan of jeff flake. weak on crime and border. now, he has already praised jeff flake's challenger. what is actually happening here? >> well, it's a president who is trying to attack his own party. since he never really had any loyalty to that party and wassen much of a republican to begin
with. that is the real test for 2018. if these guys survive trump supporting their supporters it will be every man and woman for themselves. mitch mcconnell has to hold this group together and say, look, the only way we save our jobs is by passing policy. >> yes, it's on him to some degree that there have been no major legislative accomplishments and also think about the order of operations. >> him being whom? >> mitch mcconnell. >> went with health care first and that was probably a strategic, massive blow. >> i realize i can say that it is mitch mcconnell's failure that it didn't go through. the president did nothing more to help him. had the secretary of interior going after lisa murkowski in the state of alaska. the president was working against him. why do we continue to say it was all mitch mcconnell. >> i don't think it was mitch at all. it's not like herding cats. they had a plan, they had a policy. the president's own behavior
made him so unpopular it was impossible. going after health care reform, i think, was one of the smarter things and that would help with the tax reform later. mcmcka mitch mcconnell couldn't do anything -- >> can you believe jason johnson is defending mitch mcconnell. it is like a whole new world. >> just a minute ago the president tweeted, again. if republican senate doesn't get rid of the filibuster rule and go to a simple majority, which the dems would do, they are just wasting time. president trump is clearly -- listen. he wants control. he hates having to get consensus here. can he pressure mitch mcconnell via twitter? >> i don't think he can pressure mitch mcconnell. i think a lot of these senators now, like i said, i thought about this with corker and tim scott last week. people by states that won by 20 points if mitch mcconnell can let the story come out and not really deny it, they feel safe in their positions. >> one of the limitations of trump is apparently his lack of
interest in the finer points of policy. his lack of interest in sitting down and lashing out in a very nuanced way how legislation needs to take shape and work its way through the process. instead, he wants to fire bomb somebody on twitter and create all these distractions. perhaps throw a wrench on what is already in progress and he's not doing that behind the scenes policymaking. >> he continues to distract. i mean, besides, besides -- >> distraction and lack of attention. >> besides not getting into the policies. those working on policies. do you think anyone wants to deal with the fact that, well, sheriff arpaio, he'll be okay. coming up, president trump is expected to head to reno in the next hour for another speech. we'll bring that to you live and ahead of his visit. msnbc hallie jackson goes live outside the beltway speaking with lawmakers about the impact of congress' agenda on the impact on local communities. that's next. let's take a look at some numbers:
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that wraps up this hour. thank you for watching. many thanks to jason johnson and kate kelly. i'm stephanie ruhle and i'll see you right back here at 11:00 a.m. and all day long on twitter. i'm sending you to my friend and colleague hallie jackson in reno, nevada. yes, this morning, we're back on the road outside the beltway in reno where the so-called biggest little city in the world will have to make room for an even bigger personality. maybe another airing of the
grievances from president trump as he goes after his enemies. all of them over night in phoenix. going after the media. going after vulnerable senators. going after protesters and going after hillary clinton, again. this morning we have that msnbc exclusi exclusive. clinton in her own words. part of her upcoming book about what went wrong in 2016. president trump seems to think it is all going well, despite the protests outside. his crowd in arizona loving it when he lashed out even as today he hopes to hit a note of unity here in nevada. can he? we're asking you here in reno. your thoughts on the president on tax reform, on congress as we look ahead to the most important 2018 race in the country. republican senator dean heller fighting for his job. now, he declined to join us here in reno today. but you know who we are talking to, two of his election challengers. about a race that could redefine the senate. we have our team ready to